Thursday, July 3, 2008

Home At Last

I'm home. I could capitalize it and put a bunch of exclamation points, but that always annoys me and it is kinda hard to read. Can you just believe me when when I say, "I am thrilled!"?

Let's see. What has happened since I blogged last? Tim and Fay left before I did. So I closed up the house and did the final cleaning. I went to a cafe and met an interesting fellow from Italy, named Milo. I went out with the Mission College gang once last time. I slept my last night, took my last shower, and took my last crazy moto ride, the whole time thinking, "Oh, please, please, don't let me die now! Not the last ride ever. Why didn't I wear my helmet?" I survived.

I needed to leave home at 8:30am for the airport and some of my 11th grade girls were persistent in asking to taking me to the airport. So Reachany said, "Ms.Bo we'll be over Tuesday morning to help you finish packing, at about 6:30am." Six-thirty? I would still be sleeping at 6:30! I told her I really appreciated their thoughtfulness, but I thought it might be better if they came over at 8. So I got most everything done and at 7:30am, the doorbell rang, it was Tulip, "Goodmorning Ms.Bo! I know you said not to come until 8, but I've been sitting outside since 7am and was really bored!" We weighed my bags, packed up, drove to the airport and made the dreaded goodbyes. I cried, of course. But it was a lot easier knowing that yes, I was leaving them, but I was going home!

I could detail all of the traveling, but it was pretty boring and uneventful. I flew into Denver, Colorado at about 11:45pm Tuesday night, 26 hours later. It was dark so I couldn't see the mountains, bummer! But as soon as the wheels touched the runway, I started crying. It made me realize that, at many times during the year, I didn't actually believe I would make it home. Not in a dramatic way, like I would surely die. I just didn't really visualize or consider what home would be like, or that I would actually ever return there. It's a feeling I can't totally explain. As the flaps came up to bring our plane to a halt, I felt, amazed: Here I was, coming full circle from the runway where I departed a year ago. I flashed through the fear I felt, the loneliness, the anxiety, the stress, the chaos and knew, quite suddenly, "I can't believe I survived that" and "There is no way I did that all alone". I didn't know exactly who to thank or what to say. I just stood up, gathered my things and walked off the plane.

My parents and two close friends stood waiting for me. I cried, again. They were holding a big sign, "Welcome Heather. Our Cambodian survivor!" and gave me flowers. Yet still there was that kinda awkward silence standing waiting for my bags, where all we did was look at each other. Because asking, "So, how are you?" just didn't seem to fit. We just smiled and held each other. I took the deep breath I've been waiting to take. From then on, I've just been soaking it all in.

I got home and slept for three hours, then stayed awake the next 18. I just didn't want to close my eyes. I just kinda wandered around my house, looked at belongings I hadn't seen in a year. I forgot how much junk I have! I survived all year on the two 50 pound bags I brought home, so all this other stuff seems pretty, frivolous. But still nice, I won't lie. I cleaned out my closet. I went for a bike ride. I talked with friends. Ben and Ashley came. We went out for dinner. We talked. I laughed so hard my face hurt.

The best part about being home so far, is being in each moment and being completely happy in it. I know this is something we should be able to do anywhere, no matter the country, but I'm sorry, I just couldn't seem to. My good friend Tiffany came over, and sitting and talking with her I realized, there was no where else in the whole world I wanted to be, than sitting, talking with her. I heard each word she said, without defenses or dreading what I had to say next. I talked openly and happily because I feel at peace with friends and more able to be myself, someone I had lost a little bit of along the way.

I've been laughing more. Not because I should or am doing so uncomfortably because I don't understand what's going on.

I've been smiling a lot. Not for any reason in particular, just because. Though I can guess a few reasons.

I'm relaxed. Not because I'm alone meditating and forcing relaxation to save my health.

I feel at home. Not because I'm trying to make this home to get by. I feel at home, because I am home.

Unfortunately, all of my cell phone contacts got deleted. Oy! So, it's not that I don't want to talk to you, I can't! So please give me a ring, or leave me a message and I'll have your number again.

I compiled a list of people who wanted to get my blogs while I was gone. Well, now I'm home. So this will be the last blog that my Dad emails to you. But you can visit, anytime you wish. I'd like to keep blogging because it's good for me and I like to write. But, please keep in touch in other ways too. Ya know, we can just use the phone now, or surprise, surprise, we could look each other in the eyes. Yippee! A wonderful thing.

Thank you all for your support, prayers, emails, letters, packages, and everything else I'm not mentioning. The journey continues and I just won't ever forget what it has meant to me.

Thank you.


Katie said...

I am so proud of you, Heather. I have read every one of your blog posts through this year, and I can't believe the incredible journey you've been on. It required so much strength, stamina, and faith! And you survived. You made it! I'm so glad that you're home, and happy, and well. Perhaps I will see you in the fall, when you come back to Lincoln.

caitlyn brianne said...

I'm sooo glad you arrived at home safely Miss Heather! I've read all your blogs and have been praying for you! i'm in wyoming but hope to see you sometime before we move to montana at the end of the summer! have a great 4th of July and Happy Sabbath!


Carissa J said...

I'm glad you're finally home.